Most likely when first viewing this video, your reaction is alarm and concern for this young girl's safety and rightfully so. Most likely this same reaction may include blaming the life vest for causing this unsafe scenario, but that conclusion is inaccurate.
Model 630 is a Type II Near Shore Buoyant Vest as categorized by the United States Coast Guard. It is an Infant/Child size for persons weighing 0-50 lbs; its USCG Approval Number is 160.064/4344/0. Its intended use is a “Boating Vest” with two encircling body straps, a chest strap and a crotch strap. An encircling collar around the neck extends to the front shoulders.
As per UL/USCG Listing requirements, all products are required to comply with a 10% production Quality Control program which includes buoyancy and buoyancy distribution testing, tensile strength on the device’s integrity as a whole and individual tensile strength on body straps, chest strap and crotch strap.
UL Inspectors review internal test records for each product produced at least once each quarter and witness randomly selected articles from the product line when appropriate. Since the date of file issuance (January 30, 2002), no production QC test has ever been deemed unacceptable.
Up until 2014, a product sample was randomly selected by the UL Inspector and sent to UL-RTP for annual flotation stability testing; No in-water performance test has ever been deemed unacceptable.
Over the years, Infant and Child Small sizes have experienced instability when wearing a life vest. Manufacturers, UL and the United States Coast Guard concluded a child must be introduced to wearing a vest so that its inherent buoyancy accepts the additional buoyancy provided by the vest. The Life Jacket Industry including the US Coast Guard and Underwriters Laboratories has researched the very behavior depicted on this video for over two decades.
As a result, every product manufactured and offered for sale includes a THINK SAFE PAMPHLET and a CHILD SAFETY PLACARD. These materials include instructions on how adults and care givers must teach a child how the life vest affects their floating ability in the water.
For a life vest to enhance a child's stability in a pool setting or a boating setting, the child must be introduced to wearing a vest so that its inherent buoyancy accepts the additional buoyancy provided by the vest. The Life Jacket Industry including the US Coast Guard and Underwriters Laboratories has researched the very behavior depicted on this video for over two decades.
We encourage all consumers to review these materials and follow these instructions prior to placing a vest on a child. We all recognize the need for wearing a child life vest for the optimum protection of our children while in an aquatic environment.